USS Draco (AK-79)
USS Draco (AK-79), Puget Sound, August 1945
|Name:||John M. Palmer
|Namesake:||John M. Palmer (politician)
|Ordered:||as a type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MCE hull 453, SS John M. Palmer|
|Builder:||Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California|
|Launched:||19 January 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Miss G. M. San Facon|
|Acquired:||31 January 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 February 1943|
|Decommissioned:||28 November 1945|
|Struck:||19 December 1945|
|Fate:||sold, 9 August 1947, to Southern Steamship Proprietary Ltd., reflagged South African, renamed SS President Kruger
resold in 1951, renamed SS Riviera
resold in 1953, renamed SS Effie
renamed SS President Pretorius in 1958
|Status:||scrapped in April 1968, at Kaohsiung, Taiwan|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Crater-class cargo ship|
|Displacement:||4,023 long tons (4,088 t) (standard)
14,550 long tons (14,780 t) (full load)
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draft:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Installed power:||2,500 shp (1,900 kW)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Babcock & Wilcox header-type boilers, 220psi 450°
1 × Joshua Hendy vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
1 × shaft
|Speed:||12.5 kn (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 × 5 in (130 mm)/38 caliber dual purpose gun
1 × 3 in (76 mm)/50 caliber dual purpose gun
2 × 40 mm (1.6 in) 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun mounts
6 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons anti-aircraft gun mounts
USS Draco (AK-79) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, named after the constellation Draco. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Draco (AK-79) was launched 19 January 1943 as SS John M. Palmer by Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss G. M. San Facon; transferred to the Navy 31 January 1943; and commissioned 16 February 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. L. Evey, USNR, in command.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
Draco towed YFD-21 from Seattle, Washington, by way of Pearl Harbor to Espiritu Santo, arriving 5 May 1943. She carried cargo from Auckland, New Zealand, to bases on Nouméa, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, and the Fiji Islands, and acted in support of the consolidation of the Solomons, the invasions of Cape Torokina, Bougainville, and Emirau. From 27 July to 10 August 1944 she unloaded cargo at Guam in the capture and occupation of that island, then returned to cargo runs between New Zealand and the Solomons until arriving at Ulithi 26 May 1945.
Draco sailed from Ulithi 20 June 1945 for Okinawa, where she discharged Army supplies from 26 June to 12 July. Sailing by way of Guadalcanal to load salvaged equipment and vehicles, Draco arrived at Tacoma, Washington, 27 August 1945.
Draco was decommissioned 28 November 1945 and returned to the Maritime Commission for disposal the same day.
Military awards and honors
Draco received two battle stars for World War II] service.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of Draco at NavSource Naval History